Ever since Pioneer properly got into the controller game back in 2011 with the DDJ-S1/T1, DJs around the world have been waiting for the company to bring the standalone experience of two CDJs and a mixer to the controller world. After a first pass with the XDJ-R1, Pioneer’s new XDJ-RX appears to be a true merger of CDJ and controller experiences.
Available: Late February 2015
In A Nutshell: It’s a standalone controller with Rekordbox built-in, a basic DJM mixer with effects and two CDJ-style controller platters
Watch the video introducing the new DJ system below, and then read the feature highlights after that.
XDJ-RX: No Laptop Needed
So first up is the obvious step for Pioneer, incorporating their Rekordbox playback software (already built into CDJs and XDJ-1000s) into an all-in-one controller, allowing controller-minded DJs to completely ditch their computers. You’ll still need it for library management and collecting your tracks, but the 7-inch LCD screen has displays for everything else. Some standout parts of this standalone system include:
- Parallel Waveforms: A Pioneer first – something that only Serato and Virtual DJ have had access to
- Dual USBs: Read tracks from either of two slots (each located just above the jogwheel, as on CDJs) and rotate out drives as necessary. Pioneer is touting the unit’s ability to also record sets directly on to a USB drive in a WAV format
- Onboard Hardware Effects: Instead of relying on software effects, Pioneer has Beat FX (Delay, Echo, Spiral, Reverb, Trans, Flanger, Pitch, and Roll) and Color FX (Noise, Gate/Comp, Crush, and Filter) into the mixer section.
- Beat Sync & Quantize: Not everyone was a fan of Pioneer adding a sync functionality on their CDJs and XDJ-1000s, but clearly it’s a requirement for this type of controller. Quantize also ensures cue points and loops are set on-beat – something that makes on-the-fly prep and performance easier for many.
XDJ-RX’S CONTROLLERISM ELEMENTS
In many ways, the RX actually is more like the DDJ-SX controller than a CDJ setup. The four rubber buttons at the base of each deck are used for cuepoint triggering, automatic beat loops (1, 2, 4, or 8 counts), or loop slicing. Loop slicing is a new Pioneer feature – mirroring Freeze Mode in Traktor and Slicer mode on Serato DJ.
The Physical RX: Just What The Doctor Ordered
So what about the actual hardware specs? We don’t yet know complete dimensions, but assuming that the screen is really 7 inches in diameter, we can estimate that the above Photoshopped comparison between DDJ-SX and XDJ-RX is accurate. The jogwheels are almost identical in width, and the units are very closely sized overall.
The mixer section can be used as a standalone mixer, with both phono and line inputs on each channel. The input/output section on the rear of the unit (above) is relatively limited, but considering that it’s just a two channel mixer it’s a decent set – including XLR and RCA master outs, 1/4″ TRS booth outs, and two mic inputs. There’s also an ethernet link jack for connecting to other Pioneer products.